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Heavy airstrikes near Kandahar, Kabul

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SUMMARY:

U.S.-led airstrikes hit the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar and Taliban troops positions north of Kabul as the head of the United Nations refugee agency urged Iran and Pakistan to open their borders to Afghans fleeing the conflict inside Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Northern Alliance also said Wednesday that its forces will need more support from U.S. forces before it launches an offensive against the Taliban.

UPDATE:

A large explosion rattled Kandahar in southern Afghanistan early Wednesday as U.S.-led airstrikes reached the midpoint of their fourth week. Massive explosions could be seen along front lines between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance as U.S. jets pounded Taliban troop positions. (Full story)

The head of the U.N. refugee agency urged Iran's president Wednesday to open the country's borders to help refugees fleeing neighboring Afghanistan. Ruud Lubbers also urged the Taliban to return looted U.N. property and to let the organization go about its work in Afghanistan. (Full story)

The Northern Alliance is in desperate need of military, food and logistical aid, an Afghan opposition official said Wednesday, adding that the United States must come through with promises of help before the alliance can launch a successful offensive against the Taliban. (Full story)

Turkish military sources told CNN that the United States had made the request for Turkish military personnel to go to Afghanistan. Turkish officials said they were looking positively at the request, which initially would involve the deployment of military advisers, with troops to follow. (Full story)

CNN Correspondent Nic Robertson is part of a team of 26 journalists who have been escorted by the Taliban on a tour around Afghanistan. Robertson reports from a Taliban-controlled compound on the outskirts of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, and he has found that Afghan support for the Taliban is unwavering. (Full story)

 VIDEO
CNN's John Vause reports on protests organized by the Pakistan-Afghan Defense Council, composed of 12 political parties and religious groups (October 26)

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CNN's Frank Buckley examines how NORAD, built to monitor missile activity during the Cold War, is now focused on new threats since September 11 (October 26)

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  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact


Attack on America
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 RESOURCES
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

KEY QUESTIONS:

What kind of government will replace the Taliban if the religious group is removed as the country's government? (Click here for more)

Where are the Taliban positioning troops and equipment in civilian areas? Does this factor into where the U.S. decides to strike? (Click here for more)

What effect will the support and opposition within Pakistan of the U.S.-led military strikes have on the war against terrorism?

When will the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban group that controls up to 10 percent of Afghanistan, begin a ground offensive to take the capital of Kabul? Are they making any progress? (Click here for more.)

What is life like in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with increasingly intense U.S. airstrikes overhead? (Click here for more.)

How long will the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan last? (Click here for more.)

What is the goal of the U.S. airstrikes over Afghanistan? What is the key to the mission's success? (Click here for more.)

What is the White House doing to prevent al Qaeda from airing what it calls "propaganda" on U.S. media outlets? (Click here for more.)

Who are the key players in the political landscape of Afghanistan, and how could U.S. military intervention affect the balance of power there? (Click here for more.)

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president (Click here for more.)

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. (Click here for more.)

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. (Click here for more.)

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Richard B. Myers: Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Click here for more.)

Gen. Tommy Franks: Head of U.S. Central Command. (Click here for more.)

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. (Click here for more.)

George Tenet: CIA director. (Click here for more.)

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan.

George Robertson: Secretary-General of NATO (and former British defense minister) (Click here for more.)

IMPACT:

The military attacks that began October 7 mark the start of what the Bush administration says will be a lengthy struggle against terrorist organizations worldwide -- one that could take years.



 
 
 
 



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